Al-Sisi visits the exhibition
This week, Egypt hosted the first Africa Health ExCon, a major medical event on the continent. Held under the theme “Your Gateway to Innovation and Trade”, the conference and expo hosted more than 350 companies from 102 countries. Nearly 2,000 delegates representing government health entities from Africa and the Middle East attended the event to exchange views and expertise and find solutions to the health challenges facing the continent.
During the conference, organized by the Egyptian Unified Purchasing Authority (UPA), participants discussed ways to increase cooperation among African countries in healthcare as well as transfer scientific expertise company in the management and equipment of hospitals, the provision of nursing services and the demonstration of Egyptian capacities. medical companies, from state-of-the-art devices to equipping hospitals and their analysis and radiology centres.
Egypt has said it could receive African patients in Egyptian hospitals and set up day surgery hospitals with an initial target of seven to eight African countries.
During the conference, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi announced that Egypt would donate 30 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to African countries in coordination with the African Union (AU).
Lwazi Manzi, Head of the AU Commission Secretariat on Africa’s Response to COVID-19, said the coronavirus has prompted African countries to jointly take strong action to overcome the pandemic. It has become necessary to reorder priorities to meet the challenges of pandemic outbreaks, Manzi said, adding that the AU commission on Africa’s response to Covid-19 is communicating strongly with the presidents of African countries to cooperate jointly. in the management of these crises.
The Deputy Director of the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), Ahmed Ouma, has asserted that African countries must enter into joint agreements on health care, as global measures do not ensure adequate protection of all Africans against the pandemic. “It is high time for African countries to start discussions to reach a binding agreement to ensure better preparedness for the pandemic,” Ouma stressed.
In his remarks, Al-Sisi encouraged medical cooperation among African countries, including pharmaceutical production, and called on international pharmaceutical companies to invest in Africa. Africa is a promising market, the President said, pointing out that African youth represent 60-65% of its population, or even more, “so the future is in Africa”.
Only 2% of pharmaceuticals are produced in Africa while more than 98% are imported, said Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Acting Minister of Health Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar. He noted that health services were “not just about hospitals and health personnel, but an integrated mechanism involving education, roads, investment, and political and economic stability.”
Strategic advisor to the Saudi Ministry of Health, Abdel-Aziz Abdel-Baqi, also spoke of the importance of education and training, highlighting Saudi Arabia’s efforts in planning, demand assessment , ensuring comprehensive preparation for drug supply and injecting investment in medical supplies, as well as emphasizing the importance of the pharmaceutical sector.
During the second day of the conference, a cooperation protocol was signed between the General Authority for Accreditation and Regulation of Healthcare (GAHAR) and the Arab Hospital Federation (AHF) to promote the process of accreditation of health establishments. The memorandum aims to establish a cooperation framework between GAHAR and AHF to unify their efforts to promote the quality of health services in the Arab and African regions by developing a model of mutual evaluation of the performance of hospitals and launching a campaign of awareness to promote the importance of green hospitals. as well as environmentally friendly health care practices.
The protocol will also help increase the efficiency of medical personnel to ensure patient safety, strengthen infection control in hospitals and medical centers and promote the digital transition of the health sector in the Arab region. It will provide specialized training for hospitals on meeting accreditation requirements, as well as professional training on adopting a quality system for health services.
Egypt’s advances in its medical sector under President Al-Sissi were discussed at the conference, including the adoption of a universal health insurance system and the elimination of hepatitis C as well as other diseases such as cancer and liver and kidney failure. The conference also showcased the infrastructure upgrades of various public and private hospitals that have helped them fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
*A version of this article appeared in the June 9, 2022 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly.